A teenager has spoken out to accuse managers of bullying after quitting her job at JD Sports in Bluewater.
Jasmine Dinnie, from Greenhithe, took to Facebook to describe her experience at the store and “share the way staff are treated” after she says she was told to keep working despite being sick.
With her post attracting more than 900 comments and being shared more than 1,000 times, she and mum Holly are now calling for action over management practices at the store.
“I was warned by other people not to work here but I ignored it,” she explained, after quitting on Saturday, November 13. “I’ve worked here for a month now and I’ve come to realise how poorly the staff are spoken to by managers based on my own experience and seeing it myself with others.”
She described how it came to a head when she was sick.
“One of the days I was really ill,” she said. “I had thrown up twice in the morning but I managed to get myself in to work to show that I’ve put in the effort. I thought if I continued to feel ill I’d be able to go home. I ended up being sick in one of the toilets and that wasn’t enough to leave.
“I was told that ‘today is too busy’ for me to leave.
“I had thrown up to the point where I had burst the blood vessels in my face, so by that point I decided to leave as I wasn’t fit to work another five hours.”
The Wilmington Academy sixth-former says one morning before work she received a message from her manager saying: “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
The manager then proceeded to phone her. “I replied saying that I start at 1pm so I’m not late,” added Jasmine. “No apology from her.”
“DO NOT WORK HERE,” she concluded. “I promise you they do not care for you. If you have a caring manager you will always have loyal staff unfortunately that is not the case here.”
Speaking to KentOnline, Jasmine said the post had drawn support from many who said they’d had similar experiences.
And she described how the situation had descended into a unprofessional argument on her last day.
“She told me I was late back from my lunch break but I wasn’t,” she recalled. “I said ‘you didn’t even apologise’ and she said ‘you should have found me and asked for an apology’. I said that’s not how it works, if you’re sorry for something you should apologise.
“I thought it was like a secondary school argument. She was saying it in a very patronising way. When I was explaining how she should have apologised the training manager was laughing.
“A lot of people that work there have told me they completely agree with what I’m doing.”
Mum Holly, 42, said she was incensed at her daughter’s treatment adding: “On the day my daughter said that’s enough she had the manager in the shop floor standing there saying ‘bye bye, off you go’.
‘At first I said ‘Jas, you’re in the working world now. You have to take these things sometimes.’ But this hit another level, and they’re doing it to kids.’
“This is unacceptable. I’ve emailed head office and they’re meeting with us on Thursday. They’ve realised I’m not going to go away.
“I won’t be ignored. I want these people to lose their jobs.”
She said she had initially told Jasmine to try to stick with the job, adding: “At first I said ‘Jas, you’re in the working world now. You have to take these things sometimes.’ But this hit another level, and they’re doing it to kids.”
Holly had since asked JD Sports to reiterate its policy for when staff are unwell and says she was told staff should be allowed to go home.
“I said ‘why wasn’t my child sent home?'” she added. “The person I spoke to said all she could do was apologise. I’m furious.”
A statement from JD Sports said: “We are aware of the allegation on social media regarding our Bluewater store. This will be investigated in line with company protocol, and as such we cannot comment further at present.”
A spokesperson for Bluewater said: “We’re aware of the allegations on social media. We take complaints of this nature seriously, regardless of who you are – a guest, a member of our team or on one of our brand partner’s teams – it’s really important to us that you have a positive and inclusive experience.
“We’ve been in contact with the team at JD Sports here at Bluewater, however, we really can’t comment further as this is a matter for the team there.”
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